Pre-Columbian Museum of Chaguitillo

Situated in the village of Chaguitillo, not far from the city of Sebaco in the Matagalpa district of Nicaragua, the Pre-Columbian Museum of Chaguitillo is a fascinating place to visit to gain insight into the ancient history that shaped this beautiful part of the country.

The Pre-Columbian Museum of Chaguitillo was opened in 2005 with assistance from interested persons based in France. It is considered to be one of the most interesting museums in the region. There are numerous archaeological sites around the village of Chaguitillo where hundreds of ancient objects, such as vases, bowls, plates and other household and decorative objects, have been discovered. Notable among these discoveries are the many superb petroglyphs – images that have been created by carving out pieces of rock surface. The word is derived from the Greek words meaning “stone” (petros) and “to carve” (glyphein). Petroglyphs are found throughout the world and are usually associated with prehistoric civilizations.

Preservation of these ancient artifacts is hampered by the fact that the archaeological sites are out in the open and can be accessed by people who have no understanding of the immense value of the sites. Enclosing all the sites has not been a viable option, and so some of the best pieces were collected and are now displayed in the Pre-Columbian Museum of Chaguitillo. Although the archaeological sites are not protected and are without any formal tourism infrastructure, visitors are encouraged to explore them with the assistance of local guides who are recommended by the Pre-Columbia Museum.

In addition to the valuable archeological pieces, the museum has a wealth of interesting information relating to the different indigenous groups that have lived in Nicaragua throughout its history, with emphasis placed on groups which have lived, and still live, in the areas surrounding Chaguitillo.

The entrance fee to the Pre-Columbia Museum of Chaguitillo is very reasonable and the friendly museum staff will arrange inexpensive meals and lodging on request. The tourist activity generated by the museum benefits the local community. So if you are traveling in Nicaragua, it will be worth your while to stop off and explore the Pre-Columbian Museum of Chaguitillo.